My family loves venison stew. Over the years I have made many different versions as I have refined my recipe. I began using the prepackaged seasoning and that worked pretty well but most of it you don’t really know what it contains. They list some of the major ingredients then end up by saying other spices and natural flavors. Those are both code words for MSG (monosodium glutamate). One of my family members developed an allergy to MSG and the result was migraines.
Venison is one of the healthiest of meats so why would you want to contaminate it with something that is unhealthy? It became imperative that I develop a recipe that contained known ingredients.
I begin by using only fresh or frozen vegetables. Canned goods can contain hidden ingredients such as spices or natural flavors. I will use canned tomato products if I can verify that they contain no other ingredients. Canning your own tomatoes is the best way but you may not have that option. I do pressure can my own venison and highly recommend that you do as well.
I start by adding two 14 ½ oz. Cans of diced tomatoes to my stew pot and one can of water. Then add sliced potatoes and carrots and cook until the carrots are tender. The next ingredient is a can or bottle of beer. The alcohol cooks off quickly, but leaves a slight grain flavor and an aromatic aroma. Next two cups each of corn, peas and green beans. Sliced frozen okra is an optional vegetable. Seasoning comes next. I am partial to Lowery’s steak seasoning which contains no MSG. ½ teaspoon is a good starting point, along with two teaspoons of salt along with a ¼ teaspoon each of garlic powder and black pepper. I like a little heat so a few sprinkles of cayenne pepper will give it a kick. Last but not least is the quart of canned venison. After opening carefully remove the congealed fat that has formed on the top of the meat. This is easy to do as it is hard a waxy. Deer fat is unpalatable due to its’ waxy nature. Dump in the entire quart and bring to a slow boil then turn back to a low heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender. It is then ready to eat. Be sure and taste the seasoning, depending on your personal taste buds you might like more seasoning. You can always add more but you can’t remove any so go slow
If you don’t have canned venison start the process by browning a couple of pounds of venison, either cubed or ground, in your stew pot. Once well browned start as above. The longer cooking time will help tenderize the meat.
If you like it thicker, mix a couple of tablespoons of corn starch into four ounces of cold water. Once thoroughly dissolved add to pot and stir.
Another version that my family enjoys is to leave out the potatoes and add homemade egg noodles at the end and simmer until the noodles are done.